ELYRIA - It was a fairy tale prom night for 17-year-old Elyria High School Senior Elna Wright, who was escorted by a special date on Saturday.
Wright, who has a rare progressive disorder called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, wasn’t sure that she’d have a date at all. She had planned to go with her boyfriend who passed away last fall, her parents said.
“They had always planned to go to prom together. They've been friends for a really long time, so it’s a bitter sweet moment,” said her mother, Ingrid Wright. “No one asked her to the prom, and I can understand why. It might be a tough position.”
Her dress, hair, makeup and flowers were all provided by donors including the Najia Foundation, which was established in honor of 8-year-old Najia Diara Rayal Boone, a relative of Wright killed in 2009 by accidental gunfire.
A date was the only thing missing for the big night, so Wright’s parents made a last minute plea on behalf of their avid Cleveland sports fan daughter. Perhaps someone from the Cleveland Browns would escort Wright to prom?
Enter Offensive Lineman Cam Erving.
Erving not only said “yes,” but he picked Wright up at her Elyria home in a limo bus. They took pictures in Elyria’s Ely Square before heading to prom at Wagner’s of Westlake.
“I just wanted to come here for her,” Erving said. “Just being able to make her smile, that's the biggest thing. Everybody deserves happiness, so anything I can do to make this night as special as possible.”
Wright flashed a bright smile much of the night. Her parents said they expect it will be one of her best memories ever.
“She’s on top of the world right now,” Elna’s dad, Ebony Wright, said. “This means everything.”
Wright, who was crowned homecoming queen last fall, is set to graduate next month. Her father said the family set out to make it her best year ever.